Lake Street protected bike lane construction began this morning


Crews started constructing a protected bike lane this morning on Lake Street between Damen Avenue (connecting to an existing bike lane to the north) and Conservatory Drive/Central Park Avenue (connecting to an existing bike lane). This will add 2 miles to the 25 miles-per-year protected bike lane network. Between Damen Avenue and Talman Avenue, the street’s overhead ‘L’ has its columns on the sidewalk, while from Talman Avenue to Conservatory Drive/Central Park Avenue and beyond the columns are in the roadway. Grid Chicago has asked the Department of Transportation (CDOT) for the bike lane plans for this street to understand how the roadway columns will affect parking and the bike lane design. We have a “before” video already filmed, so it will be interesting to watch the comparison to the “after” video. 


This is another situation where it would have been good to fix the pavement before installing a bike lane. The situation on Franklin Boulevard, reported last week, is an order of magnitude less comfortable. 

The first two photos were taken by Brandon Gobel between Damen Avenue and Leavitt Street. As of 2:30 PM, only the westbound section was being striped.


It appears there might have been a hiccup in planning for temporary no parking flyers: people parked their cars on Lake Street near Campbell Avenue in a legal parking area but the crew couldn’t stripe the bike lane with them in the way. Photo by Calvin Brown. 

View West side boulevard protected bike lanes + Berteau Avenue bike boulevard in a larger map.

9 thoughts on “Lake Street protected bike lane construction began this morning”

  1. Is it unreasonable to consider from that map they might eventually work to close the loop by striping Grand from Chicago to Damen?  Putting the “Grand Avenue Freeway” that is immediately west of Western on a Road Diet would make my summer.

    1. or they could run an uninterrupted path along the unused right of way on the south side of the tracks that runt along Kinzie.     Unfortunately it doesn’t seem possible to take advantage of common sense opportunities like this without ten years of discussion and tens of millions of dollars.  Maybe we should just do it ourselves.

  2. Rode Lake St from Cenrtal Park to Damen this morning (Sunday May 27) and looks like all parking is clearly marked and being obeyed. Almost all that needs to be done now is the posts. There is a skip in the protected lanes between Kedzie and Talman. I agree about Franklin Blvd. and wondered why they would stripe the bike lanes on a street that needed so much work. 

      1. Yeah, I noticed riding west that the lane dumps you into a curb cut at California and then disappears.  Not ideal.  There’s also lots of debris under the train tracks, likely related to the nearby disposal business, which was very hard to see.  The lane markings are great, but I hope they’re not planning to have the cars be the lane buffer for the eastbound Western-Talman stretch instead of installing lots of bollards.  I ride/drive past there at least 2x/wk for the past couple of years and there’s never anybody parked there.  
        I also wonder if they really thought through the idea of a major bike lane under the El.  I avoid riding on Lake as much as possible because it takes a long time for the train to pass when you’re moving with it and I don’t like the noise. Washington/Warren are much quieter streets.  They’re also one way and comfortably wide, so they could easily do a buffered lane on both streets and cover both directions.  It seems like only the eastbound lane on Lake will be buffered.

  3. Rode today and it looks great, only problem is, it’s filled with Parked cars, and where it’s not filled with parked cars, there are people driving 100 mph!

  4. With the warm weather, and added bike lanes on Lake Street, there have been more bike commuters…unfortunately, there are some rough neighborhoods people need to cycle through and punks see the increase in riders as well.

    On my way home from the city to Oak Park last night I was jumped by 2 male teens in an attempt to steal my bike. This occured at Lake & Lavergne. One guy was on the sidewalk, the other hidden behind an L pillar. When I approached, I sensed it was bad, but it was too late to react. They came at me from the left and right and pushed me off the bike. I was clipped in and went head first over the handlebars, landing on the right side of my face and shoulder. They did not go for anything but the bike, so when I realized that, I wrestled with them and kept my bike. A motorist stopped to help me, and seeing this they ran.

    A number of good samaratins stopped to help me, called 911, and paramedics were on the scene within 10 minutes. I’m stitched and bumped and bruised, but it could have been a lot worse.

    Suggest that riders use caution, try to ride w/others (there are a number of group rides to/from the loop from what I’ve heard), and try not to ride too early or too late when other people may not be around to help.

    Tom McGee

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